Welcome to the Wednesday Wanderer Series! This is the first entry for this series and I’m excited to be featuring travel blogger Charisse Sobers of Surviving on a Shoestring, who is also a good friend of mine. Charisse, is the creator and key content curator for Surviving on a Shoestring. She is the daughter of 2 Barbadian immigrants and has been traveling since the age of 6 months to visit family. Although she could be considered a seasoned traveler, Charisse didn’t became passionate about traveling until around the age of 21. Naturally, she really became obsessed with seeing other countries and experiencing new cultures in a way that she hadn’t been before. Charisse has visited the Netherlands, Denmark, Colombia, Iceland, the United Arab Emirates, and 25 other countries over the course of 25 years! Her goal in creating SOAS is to teach readers how to see the world on a budget. She regularly shares the tips and tools she uses to travel in hopes that she can inspire others to travel frugally. Read on to find out more about Charisse and her love for travel.
1. When did you fall in love with traveling?
I became passionate about traveling at the age of 21. It was at this point that I moved out of my parent’s home, secured my first full-time job, and developed a desire to see the world.
2. What’s your travel style?
I’m definitely a bougie budget traveler. I enjoy upscale experiences for a discounted price.
3. How often do you travel?
Not as much as I want to! I’m currently a contractor so I get no PTO. No PTO = I have to pay myself when I take vacations. Because of this restriction I’ve only been able to take 3 international trips so far this year.
4. Why did you start travel blogging?
I started travel blogging to help dispel the myth that travel has to be expensive. Family and friends were constantly asking me how I was able to travel so much. Instead of answering the same questions multiple times I decided to write about my trips.
5. How do you budget for traveling?
I wrote an article covering the ways I budget for travel. But my favorite way is to have a portion of my paycheck direct deposit into my Charles Schwab checking account weekly. This account allows me to withdraw money from any ATM in the world without incurring fees at a favorable exchange rate.
6. What is your least favorite destination? Why?
My least favorite destination to date is Panama. I was unimpressed by sites such as the Panama Canal and the public transportation left much to be desired.
7. Are you a full-time blogger?
I am not a full-time blogger, yet. I currently work full-time as a Treasury Operations Analyst.
8. What’s your favorite city you have visited?
My favorite city is Cartagena, Colombia. I love how affordable it is and how much tasty food there is to eat there.
9. What’s one thing you always travel with?
The one thing I always travel with is my portable USB charger (I actually travel with 3). One of my worst fears is being stuck with a dead phone. These things are great because they allow me to charge all of my mobile devices on the go.
10. What have you learned from traveling?
Traveling has taught me to be open to change. I’m an extremely Type A person who plans everything. But there are times when the best laid plans go awry. Travel has helped me embrace this fact and dare I say it, go with the flow.
11. Where are you off to next?
My next trip is domestic. I’ll be going to Cincinnati, OH for a friend’s birthday and the University of Cincinnati homecoming.
12. Has any place you visited surprised you or been different from what you expected?
The one city that surprised me was Paris. I took French for 5 years growing up and ballet for 15 years. I was obsessed with French culture and idealized Paris. Once I finally got the opportunity to visit I found it reminded me a lot of NYC. Not nearly as glamorous as I had envisioned.
13. Are you team solo travel of team group travel?
I’m team (small) group travel. I’ve gone on trips solo and the concept is not at all appealing to me. I enjoy creating memories with other people and being able to split certain trip costs.
14. Do you have any funny or interesting travel stories?
I recently attended Yacht Week in Croatia. While talking to one of the other attendees on their yacht a man attempted to board the boat, fell off of the dock into the water, and managed to get a plank caught on his leg. A friend and I were able to pull him out of the water and he admitted that he had confused the boat we were on with his. So he had almost drowned attempting to get onto a boat that wasn’t even his *face palm*.
15. What would you say to someone who wants to start their own travel blog?
I would encourage anyone that wants to start their own travel blog to just start writing. Having a nicely laid out website is important, but engaging content will people coming back to your blog.
What do you think about the series? Let me know in the comments below. Want to be featured in the Wednesday Wanderer Series? Contact me for more information! Follow Charisse on Instagram, FB, and subscribe to her blog!